State of the art regarding technology in the Thousand Worlds?

I am planning to add some RPG elements to our Warcaster sessions. To tell lore-appropriate stories, I wondered, what is the state of the art regarding technology in the Thousand Worlds? Some things I know:


  • Warcasters support their forces from racks.
  • Spell-like effects can be produced via arcane cyphers and special mechanikal devices.
    • Arc relays are used by warcasters to transmit arc at range (they are on battle carriers).
    • Arc receivers are locatable by a locus, collect transmitted arc in reticulations, transform it in arc converters, and store charges in arc capacitors, which spike if overloaded.
    • Cypher modules can be charged to contain cyphers.
  • Mechanikal G-drives enable flying vehicles, jet packs, and giant flying battle carriers.

Travel and communication:

  • Portable void gates open a breach to the void. Warcasters can locate them. Warcasters can themselves open a breach to the void and send troops through. The troops’ locusts enable the warcaster to bring them to the target gate.
  • Stationary void gates are connected in pairs. Navigating the void between may take a long time depending on the gates’ distance. It needs a theurg (or a warcaster?) to know the direction of travel.
  • Communication at range at least between a squad and its warcaster exemplified in stories when inside communication range of a battle carrier.
  • Screens as seen on a ranger’s spyglass on the Redforge image.


  • Immortality of the soul is possible through its preservation in soul batteries (not sure what they are called).
  • Cybernetic prostetics are a thing at least for the AC.

What did I miss?


I had a theory about Mesh Emitters. Anything can be charge with Arc, but only human who are Warcasters, Weavers, and Thurges can absorb arc without a Mesh Emitter. Without it a normal human celluar structure becomes unstable, the arc burns them from inside out with pure energy. Even those who survive are typical scarred or disabled physical or mental. The first version of mesh emitter worked like resisters, they dampened tye flow of Arc. Later they were deisgned to be like capacitiors, acc absorbed would be stored to use for neuro enhancements, weapons, and gear. The glow on mesh emitters are actually exhaust vents that slowly release arc. This is because without the slow release valve there is a small chance malfuctuctioning and or damage could cause mesh emitters and relays to explode.

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I actually wonder how far behind the setting is in terms of non-Arc power. They look all futuristic and sci-fi, but I’m sure there’s plenty of avenues they haven’t gone down because of Arc. I’d imagine they use petroleum for some things (plastics, natural gas, etc) but probably haven’t bothered working on efficient internal combustion engines. I doubt they’ve messed with nuclear energy. I’m super curious how their computer technology would look compared to ours.


It is interesting
Plastic can be made from non petroleum routes, and is suitably close to magic that something with similar features can exist in any sci fi setting

They had rudimentary AI (cortexes) and combustion engines even in Warachine, so they are at least aware of the technology. It just may have not needed much further development.

I am really interested by your mention of nuclear, which isn’t needed because arc is basically the same: as a super energy dense source similar to magic. In fact it is pretty funny that this fantasy setting has a magic system that seems less dangerous than its real world counterpart. I am not aware of any safety issues from being near arc, or using it. They seem to let it flow through mesh suits very close to their bodies.


One thing to remember with stationary gates, is they open on their own. Stationary gates are more mapped than activated and the connecting gate can change based on the time, day, or season it opened in.

Sometimes a gate can stay open for an hour or years.

Some stationary gates are reliably mapped, others are not, and some cannot be mapped and are erratic.

Theurge is not necessary to navigate stationary gates. Think more of Stargate SG-1 but the Star Gates behave like they got a mind of their own rather than Warhammer 40k and the Warp.

Warcasters are living weapons but unlike Warmachine that are so powerful at directing arcane energies that the stay aboard a star ship in a containment room. It’s like comparing a Roman stream engine to a nuclear power plant.

Weavers are skilled at directing the warcasters energies. Like a cable from the power plant.

Theurges are like Warcasters but to a far lesser degree of potential.

RPG setting wise, Warcaster would probably be a DM run NPC, almost like an AI on a star ship in a sci fi RPG but they walk around and eat.

Ya it’s like, what even you had something as energy dense as nuclear but it popped out of the ground like oil when you missed your shot at a rabbit :rabbit2: while hunting.

Probably would even think of nuclear until the stuff started running out.

I guess the way of looking at the tech is how the Pueblo used turquoise to make jewellery and silver since silver is soft. However, if you heat turquoise, you can extract copper and from copper you can make bronze :3rd_place_medal:.

Technology is like that, we could be sitting on some crazy resource with a crazy use right now, but not notice it, while some other cosmic civilization knows about it.

There could be potential for nuclear power in the Cyriss galaxy but no one has a need or paradigm to even look.

Consider it like petroleum: there’s a ton of other possible ways to get energy but rather than diversifying (so far as we’ve seen) they’d rather fight over the singular source for everything. Now, it’s true a lot of stuff won’t work without Arc (such as cortexes) but a lot of alternatives for more mundane things can come up (like we have). The trick being, of course, is I don’t think they’ve done anywhere near the work to make those things viable.

I could see some places trying something, anything, while desperately rationing Arc for the most vital things.

The only clue we have as of yet is the increased birth rate of people with latent abilities near arc mines employing novel techniques. This is mentioned in the lore blurb on the marcher world’s warders card

They may not be necessary to open interplanetary gates, but they are necessary to navigate ships:

Traveling through one interplanetary void gate to another requires a vessel capable of surviving the trackless expanse between the open portals. There are no landmarks or stars to navigate by, and only the theurge navigator’s arcane sense of the exit gate can guide the ship safely out of the void.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 19)

Void navigator – An Arc-sensitive theurge capable of navigating the void. Void navigators are necessary for sky ships traversing the void. The navigator’s role is to make sure the ship finds its way out of the void through the gate on the opposite side of its entry point.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 247)

So literally every human ship has to have a theurge on board to act as a navigator.

I always read it differently.

[…] Wyrds, capable of receiving or siphoning Arc from a source and redirecting it without loss of power. Theurges […] shape Arc into powerful effects, given the proper physical medium capable of holding a charge. […] the only limitation is physical contact with the specially crafted material that acts as a vehicle for their power. […] Like Theurges, Warcasters can channel Arc and manipulate its shape and effects […] And like a Wyrd, the Warcaster can transmit Arc over distance.

(The Thousand Worlds, pp. 15–16)

Warcasters basically are Theurges as well as Wyrds. They can manipulate Arc both ways, but nothing suggests they are more powerful doing it when they are directly operating on the battlefield (e.g. see Master Tulcan).

What makes them more powerful is the Rack itself:

Rack – A Warcaster coordinates and supports their forces from a sophisticated command and control center called a rack, located on the bridge of their battle carrier. In addition to the Warcaster’s multitude of displays and communications equipment, the rack also monitors and facilitates the Warcaster’s ability to channel Arc and contains multiple Cypher modules that can be activated at will.

(The Thousand Worlds, pp. 245–246)

Cypher module – An arcane-coded mechanika construct that, when charged with Arcanessence by a Warcaster, can invoke a Cypher. Most battle force units are equipped with one or more Cypher modules. Warcasters typically customize their racks with an array of Cypher modules that can be channeled to their units on the battlefield or through skilled wyrds under their command.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 243)

[…] The plexus also enables its wearer to be empowered by the various performance-enhancing arcane Cyphers that their Warcaster may activate from their rack during battle.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 245)

The rack and its Cypher modules are what make a Warcaster powerful. But still, a Warcaster can only operate when within Arc range:

[…] Safely housed within the battle carrier’s command rack, the Warcaster could charge her vehicle’s mechanika with vital Arcanessence, […] but only while within Arc range.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 232)

Suddenly, the Razorbat’s Arc receivers awakened. The arcane mechanika enmeshed within the vehicle’s weapons and onboard systems pulsed with energy that could only be infused by one of the rarest of individuals capable of conducting Arcanessence. Fiddler knew she was in Arc range of her Warcaster.

(The Thousand Worlds, p. 234)

I assume the Arc range is represented as a battle carrier’s “channeling range”. If this is correct, it means that the battle carrier increases the Warcaster’s Arc range manyfold, adding to a Warcaster’s perceived power.

Venger Battle Carrier […] Warcaster Rack: 15x Cypher Modules […] Channeling Range: 5.2 miles

(The Thousand Worlds, pp. 76–77)

Iron Clad Battle Carrier […] Warcaster Rack: 15x Cypher Modules […] Channeling Range: 3.2 miles

(The Thousand Worlds, pp. 108–109)

Leviathan Battle Carrier […] Warcaster Rack: 15x Cypher Modules […] Channeling Range: 4.1 miles

(The Thousand Worlds, pp. 134–135)

In summary, rather than Warcasters themselves being so powerful, that they are kept safe in a battle carrier’s rack, the advanced mechanika of the rack makes the Warcaster that powerful in the first place.

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